Front Piece from "The Life and Religious Experience of Mrs. Jarena Lee"

Jarena Lee
Ink on Paper

Jarena Lee grew up in Cape May, New Jersey. She was a preacher, despite being formally barred from the profession as a woman. Her sermons were so powerful that she became the first female preacher of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of America in Philadelphia. In 1836, she published her autobiography, making her one of the first published African American autobiographers in the nation.

Library Company of Philadelphia,